“The love you gave me, nothing else can save me, S.O.S”
First of all, a massive thank you to everyone who joined us for FM2022. In many ways it was our best event ever: our best line-up, best sound, best location and best crowd. And many of you sweethearts have been in touch to say just that. So thank you. Without you, the party is nothing.
But sadly, we can’t cash in all this love, and so we find ourselves in a position where we are asking for your help to save FM.
FM2022 Family portrait by Drew Eckheart
Field Maneuvers started eight years ago when five of us put £50 in a pot, bought an incorrectly spelled domain name, and hoped for the best. Each year we've grown incrementally, releasing a few more tickets, improving the sound systems, booking bigger acts, always trying to throw the best party available within our means, never paying ourselves much more than expenses and stupidly or not, not taking any sponsorship (beyond a few kegs of beer). Call us plonkers but we've always done it for the love. FM2022 was our biggest party to date. But it has also ended up being the hardest.
We always knew our first event after a three year break for Covid was going to be tough, but it ended up more challenging than we ever could have imagined. The bottom line is we’ve lost a lot of money, and without your help we could end up in a crippling amount of debt. But we really believe FM has a future. And if you do too, we could do with your help.
How we got here...
- Firstly, we sold most of our tickets in 2019, pre-pandemic, and have racked up three years’ of day-to-day costs before this event even started: licensing, storage, ongoing business administration, accountancy, all of which would normally be covered by the annual income from running the event.
- Secondly, the cost-of-living crisis has affected us across the board. Brexit, the war in Ukraine and inflation have seen all of our contractor prices rocket by at least 30% - from diesel to marquees to plant hire to hay bales - everything cost more this year, so we found ourselves trying to make 2019 ticket prices match our 2022 costs.
- Thirdly - and this is the biggie - since buying those tickets in 2019, life has changed for a lot of people. Wedding invitations got sent, people got new jobs, children happened, financial situations changed - and so despite selling 1500 tickets and budgeting for a party for 1500 people - only 1000 people turned up. 500 less punters buying drinks meant our bar projections were out and our take was down 35%. A devastating amount for a tiny, independent party.
How we save FM…
- We could have *just* about survived with the 1000 people on site, but only if those 1000 had each spent an extra £40 at the bar to make up for the people who didn’t attend. Now we need £40,000 to cover our losses *gulp*. So…
- If every single person who attended FM2022 copped a t-shirt or a jumper then we would be sorted…
- Or if every single previous attendee from over the years copped a sticker pack & pen bundle we would be sorted…
- And if you have ever been on our guestlist or hit us up for a few extra meal/drinks tokens, then now is a good time to return the love.
- And if you ever met your BFF or significant other at FM then you know what to do ;)
To reiterate, we’re festival promoters by accident. We have our own full-time jobs, responsibilities, and children, despite which, we still focus almost entirely on this event for three months of the year, and beyond a few drink tokens and meal vouchers, we rarely pay ourselves. We don’t wanna be vibe assassins but it's a lot to shoulder, at times too much, but it still all feels worthwhile when we hear our favourite DJs play to a dancefloor full of beaming faces.
But, in probably the first sensible move we’ve ever made, we’re drawing the line at financially crippling ourselves to keep going! For Field Maneuvers to survive we really do need your help. We know times are tough and if you can’t afford it, please don’t even think about donating, but if you can chip in to this Save FM Crowdfunder, you’d make some exhausted and genuinely worried people very happy indeed.
So if you ever wanted to buy a T-shirt or a bomber jacket or get keys to your own luxury FM portaloo then now is the time
And who knows what the future holds. But if we can make it through this bump in the road, we promise to make it worth your while!
Love to you all.